Charges dismissed for three Stoughton residents who spread KKK fliers

The Patriot Ledger/October 24, 2002
By Mark Fontecchio

Littering charges have been dismissed against three Stoughton residents who distributed Ku Klux Klan literature.

The three people were charged with littering from a motor vehicle. The charges were dismissed Monday by Stoughton District Court Judge Francis Crimmins, who could not be reached for comment.

''I believe the judge made the right decision,'' said John Kundrot, one of the defendants. ''The police department should not be arresting people for exercising their constitutional right to free speech.''

Also charged were his brother, Edward Kundrot, and an unnamed juvenile. Police said they stopped a car with three occupants for speeding on Glover Drive in April and found a bag containing about 40 fliers. About a dozen other fliers were in driveways along the street, police said. The literature promotes what it calls white Christian culture, and contained statements against homosexuality, abortion and multiracial relationships.

One flier contained the statement: ''As Christian racialists, we must continually stay on guard in our homes - where the enemy most often attacks. They are looking for new recruits into their new multi-racial, bisexual, plastic monetary one-world system.''

Stoughton Police Chief Manuel Cachopa recognized that the case was difficult to prosecute and said that his department had ''complete faith'' in the court system.

''It was kind of a stretch,'' he said. ''We did what we did. Our whole objective was to get their names out, and we accomplished that. We did what we did, and it's not a disappointment.''

Andrew Tarsy, civil rights director for the Anti-Defamation League, said that the literature can be scary and disturbing, adding that the town has already declared itself a ''No Place for Hate'' community.

''There will always be groups on the margins trying to stir up fear and suspicion among diverse communities,'' he said. ''That's as old as anything.''

Tarsy would not comment on the details of the case, saying he would leave that up to authorities. But he did say that ''we are in favor of freedom of speech, of equality and respect.''

One piece of literature that was handed out contains a list of items on TV the group claims is harmful. Among them were an underwear commercial in which Michael Jordan is ''ogled'' by two white women and a cable show with a ''one-sided look'' at the history of the KKK.

Kundrot said that he is part of the Knights Party, claiming it is different from the KKK. However, some of the fliers he distributed stated: ''Be a WINNER with the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Tarsy said that is enough to raise the emotions of some residents. ''We can't dismiss the fact that just a simple distribution of fliers can be frightening and deeply troubling for some of the people in the community,'' he said.

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